Boston Celtics Season Preview: New Team, Same Goals

Team Capsule

Last year, the Boston Celtics, led by Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce lost in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Miami Heat in 7 games in a gut-wrenching fashion. That also marked the end of the “Big 3” era of Pierce, Allen and Kevin Garnett. Ray Allen left to join the Miami Heat.

Although the Celtics missed their goal last year of obtaining a Championship, they have re-tooled their roster and are ready for another shot at it. The only question: Will they succeed?

Biggest Strength: Depth

Last year, the Celtics had a pretty bad bench, but the additions of Jason Terry, Fab Melo, and- eeeek- I hate saying this as a Michigan State fan, but former Ohio State player Jared Sullinger add to the bench’s strength, and now with Jeff Green coming back, he’ll be a force off of the bench.

Biggest Weakness: Age

The Celtics are a bunch of old guys out on the court. Jason Terry and Paul Pierce are 35, and Kevin Garnett is 36. The biggest problem might be Kevin Garnett, because he’s prone to injuries, and the depth behind him isn’t so strong (I mean, DARKO MILICIC).

Player to Watch: Jeff Green

Jeff Green missed all of last season with an aortic aneurysm in his heart, but is back this season. He could become a huge asset to the team behind starter Paul Pierce, as Pierce is aging and Green is really skilled with a good basketball IQ.

2011-2012 record: 39-27

Coach: Doc Rivers (546-433)

Key Additions: Jeff Green (kind of), Jason Terry, Courtney Lee

Jeff Green, although this is his second year as a Celtic, is in his first PLAYING season with them, and could be a huge asset. Lee and Terry both are good replacements for the absent Ray Allen, who is now playing for the Miami Heat.

Key Subtractions: Ray Allen, JaJuan Johnson

Allen, the best three-point shooter in NBA history, is a big loss to the team and his hard to replace. Also, JaJuan Johnson was Brandon Bass’ backup, and it’ll be difficult for Jared Sullinger to appropriately fill the role of backup power forward in his first year in the NBA.

Team Trajectory: Flat

The team is having troubles making up for Ray Allen, plus, the missing pieces aren’t there for them to make it all the way to the championship with the Heat as a roadblock. They’re going to need Courtney Lee and Jason Terry to do better than expected if they want to go any deeper into the playoffs.

Projected Record: 55-27

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About Jameson Draper
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